Vadim Nemkov hacked and chopped at the leg of Liam McGeary at Bellator 194, ultimately felling the former light heavyweight champion in round three.
Bellator 194’s main card was stacked with familiar names, and among them was former light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary, working to get back on track in the 205lb division. Cageside Press spoke to McGeary ahead of the event, and he was clear that he was back to his old self coming into Friday’s bout against Vadim Nemkov. “I’m back to being angry, I’m back to being pissed off, I’m back to being me” McGeary told us.
Vadim Nemkov, meanwhile, had gone 2-2 in RIZIN FF prior to joining Bellator, where he scored a win in his debut at Bellator 182 against Phillipe Lins.
When the pair got underway Friday, it was McGeary opening with a front kick to the body early. Nemkov fanned on a leg kick, but touched his opponent’s lead leg a couple of times shortly after. Nemkov then landed a right, which McGeary ate without issue. They traded kicks later in the round, but it was Nemkov pushing the action, with McGeary backing up. Despite McGeary’s reach advantage, Nemkov was able to sneak in and land strikes from time to time, though he struggled to get full combinations off.
Later in the round, McGeary would slip off a kick, but manage to escape harm. The pair were turning the affair into a kickboxing battle with neither man looking for a takedown. McGeary’s legs were starting to show damage. Finally right at the bell to end the first, Nemkov shot for and landed the bout’s first takedown.
McGeary looked to hold center early in round two, but ate a huge right hand! That led to a wild exchange, and McGeary trying a trip that backfired, with him winding up on the bottom. However, he worked for an inverted triangle, but slipped off. Back on the feet, things settled down a little — but Nemkov continued to chop at McGeary’s legs. At the end of the round, he unleashed two huge leg kicks, and McGeary was soon limping.
In the third, the big question was whether McGeary could make anything happen with a wounded leg. He tried to take Nemkov to the ground, hoping to lure him into guard. Nemkov, however, was having none of it. McGeary tried to push forward, only to have his leg kicked out from under him, sending him to the canvas. His leg gave out on his first attempt to stand up, and when he did get back to the feet, Nemkov began having his way with the limb, kicking it at will. One final kick forced McGeary to turn away, and ref Big Dan had seen enough, waving the action off.
Vadim Nemkov def. Liam McGeary by TKO (leg kicks), Round 3, 4:02